GPS and GIS education are exciting technologies offered through 4-H.
According to the Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration "80% of careers by the year 2012 will require some knowledge of geospatial technology and systems." There is an immediate and anticipated need to fill tens of thousands of positions in geospatial technology and related fields.
What is GPS?
GPS (Global Positioning System) is a navigational system that can accurately locate your position anytime, anywhere and regardless of weather on Earth. An important 4-H use of the GPS receiver is to identify or mark the precise location of things or events in their community that are important for your project or program, and then enter location information (e.g., of pine tree, car accident that resulted in 3 deaths, where nitrogen in the stream exceeds a certain level, etc.)
What is GIS?
GIS (Geographic Information System) is essentially a high-tech map! Unlike paper maps, GIS can allow the user to change the information shown as well as ask questions about the relationships between that information. GIS combines layers of information about a place to give a better understanding of that place. What layers of information are combined depends on the purpose.
What is Community Mapping?
Community Mapping is a process involving youth, citizens, community professionals and decision-makers working together to learn and use geospatial tools and data to address community and environmental issues.
GPS tells us where while GIS tells us what. Together, they help us locate, organize, and map our communities.